4 reasons to stop worrying about making mistakes

Fear of failure is a terrible de-motivator. Think of the number of times you’ve had a great idea but never put it into action. Maybe you were worried about getting it wrong, it took too long to make it perfect, or you just weren’t sure enough so you put it aside to try again at some later date.
We’ve all done it.
Communicators have to be courageous and take on new technologies to stay in the game. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t be held back but go for it when it comes to your communications:

1. You have to make mistakes to be able to perfect your approach

This one is pretty obvious, but you have to be able to allow yourself to get things wrong or your communications will come across as out-dated and reflect badly on your organisation. Communications technologies are evolving rapidly, which means you can quickly look stale if you don’t adopt new tools that could help you.

If it’s social media you’re trying, start by opening a Twitter account. First follow and listen to others in your field, then the only way to find your voice is to start tweeting.

The up-side is that this is still a relatively new medium for most people, so we are all in the same boat. Personally, I think the idea of learning from your own mistakes is highly over-rated, when we have such free and flowing access to the mistakes of others.

2. You now have more access to what other people are doing wrong

There are literally hundreds of blogs with advice on using social media. So much so, that it’s impossible to keep up with them all.  They are worth looking into before you make a leap so you can learn from other people’s mistakes.

Here’s a great article which will help you to avoid committing  10 common mistakes made by nonprofits on social media.

3. Mistakes can make you look good

Making mistakes can actually be good for your organisation, if handled properly.

It’s all down to the psychology of trust. The very fact of getting it all wrong can work in your favour. Why? It gets attention, and showing your human faults makes other people relate to you. It gives outsiders a better idea of the inner workings of your organisation, and if the problem is handled well, it gives confidence to those that follow and support your work.

One such example was how the Red Cross dealt with an errant tweet accidentally posted on a Red Cross account. Thanks to their quick, open and humorous response, the mistake turned into an accidental fundraising moment, rather than a public relations disaster.

Organisations don’t always meet their aims, how they cope with that is interesting.

Another example is charity: water, a non-profit who’s aim is to bring drinking water to people in developing nations. To better connect donors to the work they help finance, charity: water broadcasts live videos of the process of drilling a well. Inevitably, not every drill is a success. Instead of hiding those failures, they continued to show their work. This doesn’t put people off, but rather builds confidence as they give an opportunity for donors to see the difficulties they face in trying to give people access to clean water and their heroic attempts to overcome defeats.

4. You could win an award

You may have heard of various excellence awards for non-profit campaigns, but did you know there are also awards for failure? The Institute for Brilliant Failures has a call out now for submissions to win the ‘Best learning moment in development cooperation‘ award.

Would you dare to share? If so, please do give examples or helpful links in the comments section below.

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